Uh Oh, Looks Like Google's Hardware Team Might Be in Trouble

Google is reportedly cutting back on hardware, moving some workers to new jobs

Report: Google Pulling Engineers, Managers From Tablet and Laptop...

It is possible that Google may have been working on other related hardware initiatives to fill out its previous product roadmap and may have chose to concentrate exclusively on a more limited hardware program. Business Insider cites "several people familiar with the matter" in a piece noting that dozens of Google hardware and technical program managers have been told to find new jobs with the company.

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Over the past few years, Google has been pushing deeper into the hardware business with products like the Pixelbook, Pixel Slate, multiple Google Homes, and of course, Pixel phones, with the latter getting a big boost thanks to Google's $1.1 billion (£820 million) acquisition of tech and personnel from HTC last year. One source claims that the Create team had a "bunch of stuff in the works", and that the movement of employees away from the project is indicative of the company "par [ing] down the portfolio" of products. Already, these "floating" employees have been seeking roles within the company's smartphone division, Pixel, and other Alphabet companies, sources say. The company denied Business Insider's request for comment. Given the competition within the laptop market, this isn't too surprising. However, shortly after launch, numerous users reported issues with the Pixel Slate's performance, particularly when using the device in laptop mode, which forced Google to address the lag later via software updates.

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Manufacturing roles on Create were not impacted by the recent downsizing, signaling Google's near term product lineup will likely not change. While there is no indication that Google plans to abandon the Pixelbook, the staff reductions suggest that Google is unlikely to flesh out its in-house line of Chromebooks with a wider variety of products and prices. These changes have reportedly been prompted by cancellation of projects within the laptop and tablet division.

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A report like this raises more questions than it answers, so we'll make sure to keep an eye out for any follow-up coverage as it comes out.

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